Music from Jim Jarmusch Films: A Playlist

Music from Jim Jarmusch films - A Playlist 
I remember when I was watching Only Lovers Left Alive, a film that would ultimately capture my whole being, and the sequence with Yasmine Hamdan performing Hal occurred, towards the end of the movie. I’m not sure I can even describe that feeling in words, but it was like hitting that point when you sensed you were finally completely drawn into the world of the two characters, dark and timeless and otherworldly and overwhelming. I sometimes listen to that song, but the effect is not even closely the same. For me, that song lives in that film. The two forms of art form a common language. The song was not composed for Jarmusch’s film, and that makes its effect all the more striking. When Tilda Swinton’s character, Eve, suggests that Hamdan should be better known, Tom Hiddleston’s character, Adam, says she shouldn’t, because “she’s too good”. Maybe the song is only meant to come alive in the film, in that story, because I am not sure an appropriate moment exists in real life. Maybe only in Tangier, “a place where, unlike Marrakech, the old world and new world are not separated by a gulf as though looking at each other. It’s all mixed,” as the director described the atmosphere and location for his film.

Music is so much part of Jarmusch’s films, it is woven into the celluloid. It is, reportedly, what kickstarts his ideas and imagination when he is writing a script. His soundtracks give voice to his drifters and dreamers, and, in turn, the characters come alive through the music and enter our own imagination. Let’s try to tap into that world by listening to this compilation of some of my favourite Jim Jarmusch movie soundtracks.


Jockey Full of Bourbon – Tom Waits (Down by Law, 1984) / Only Lovers Left Alive – SQÜRL (Only Lovers Left Alive, 2013) /
Dead Man – Neil Young (Dead Man, 1995, main title) / There Is An End – The Greenhornes, Holy Golightly (Broken Flowers) / Marvin Gaye (Broken Flowers, 2005) / Funnel of Love – SQÜRL (Only Lovers Left Alive) / El que se tenga por grande – Carmen Linares (The Limits of Control, 2009) / Hal – Yasmine Hamdan (Only Lovers Left Alive) / Pain in My Heart – Otis Redding / I Put A Spell on You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Stranger Than Paradise, 1984) / The Memphis Train – Rufus Thomas (Mystery Train, 1989) / Chaucer Street – John Lurie (Mystery Train) / Ealking through the Darkness – Tekitha (The Way of the Samurai, 1999) / Crimson and Clover – Tommy James & The Shondells (Coffee and Cigarettes, 2003) / Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth – Brian Jonestown Massacre (Broken Flowers) / Mystery Train – Elvis Presley (Mystery Train) / Louie Louie – Richard Berry (Coffee and Cigarettes)

photo: Classiq
Related content: Listen to All This Jazz / Sounds of Summer / Defining Moments in Rock ‘n’ Roll Style

Classiq Journal - The Playlists

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Summer Storyboard by Helmut Newton

Summer Storyboard by Helmut Newton 
This month, Taschen will publish an extensive Helmut Newton portfolio including some of the photographer’s most striking shots from the ’60s through to his golden heyday, a collection of his fashion, editorial and personal pictures.

“I am very attracted by bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste, which is nothing more than a standardised way of looking at things.”

The images most closely associated with his name are provocative and sexually charged (never lacking humour though), of highly made-up, statuesque, often nude women – he created alternate realities with his photos. But his interest lay in a different kind of photography: nights, cities and portraits of interesting people. In this regard, I hope Helmut Newton. Work is a complete, comprehensive album. In its anticipation, here is a guide through summer, through the lens of Helmut Newton – needless to say, the portraits of Isabella Rossellini, Françoise Sagan and Angelica Huston are my main point of interest.

collage: Classiq | photos: Helmut Newton // clockwise from top left: 1-British Vogue, July, 1965 / 2-Isabella Rossellini, Los Angeles, 1988 / 3-François Sagan, Vogue Paris, 1963 / 4-Angelica Huston, Los Angeles, 1986 / 5-Jerry Hall and Lisa Taylor, Vogue US, Miami, 1975 / 6-US Vogue, 1975

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Editorial: Under the Sicilian Sky

Stories of Sicily.
Editorial - License to Shoot - The Godfather 

The Editorial: thoughts, short stories
or essays about the world of cinema

While in Berlin several summers ago, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and I realised, by the accent, that the waiter was Italian. Eager to exercise my Italian after I had found out, to my despair, that my German had become rustier than I had expected, I asked him if he was indeed Italian. “No, Sicilian,” his answer came promptly and proudly. I ended up by apologising to him for calling him an Italian and struck up a nice conversation. Here is the simple truth: there is nothing higher to Sicilians than the ties of blood, heritage and honour.

“You see, Sicily was always invaded, and over the centuries, the Sicilians discovered the only way to survive the invasions was to trust only their own families and never break that trust,” said Al Pacino, as noted in the book The Godfather Family Album, which chronicles the making of the trilogy. The roots of The Godfather originate in Sicily (where some notable scenes from the Coppola’s saga were also filmed) and organised crime, but the unmentionable words, the Mafia, are never heard, because this film is first and foremost a mythic exploration of family. “I want to show how two men, father and son, were born into the world innocent, and how they were corrupted by this Sicilian waltz of vengeance,” said Francis Ford Coppola.

“In Sicily, it was like a merger of families – everyone had family there,” recounts still photographer Steve Shapiro in the afore-mentioned book about the cast and crew’s filming days on the Italian island. And it was in fact Francis Ford Coppola’s Italian origins that sold him to the producers (at the time, Coppola was known as an artsy, film-schooled young director). “The reason Mafia films had never worked was they were made by Jews, acted by Jews, and written by Jews. We want to smell the spaghetti, and only an Italian can do it,” was how producer Robert Evans managed to bring the director on board. “Francis was the only second-generation Italian in the entire industry.”

“Though I have never been here before, I have been here before,” wrote journalist Barbara Grizzuti Harrison for Life magazine in 1990 about Castillo degli Schiavi in Taormina, Sicily, when she went on the location of Godfather III. It is the place where, in Godfather I, the young wife of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) was killed in a car bomb that was meant for the exiled son of Vito Corleone. “I feel as if Godfather I and II are part of my history, my unconscious, vehicles for primary themes of good and evil (and family), and sin and redemption (and family) and communion and alienation (and family), of power and honour (and family).” Could this also be a universal truth?

photo: film still from The Godfather, Sicily | Paramount Pictures

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Room to Dream

Room to Dream David Lynch

“I don’t go by nighttime dreams because it’s daydreaming that I like.”

The moment I saw the title and cover of David Lynch’s memoir, I fell in love with it. Room to Dream. It’s all in that title. The possibilities that title holds. The mysteries it eventually further deepens. I didn’t expect anything less from David Lynch. Room to Dream does not demystify. What movie lover would want that? A deconstruction of David Lynch’s films? Art does not need explanation, but to be felt and experienced and interpreted by each individual differently. The Lynchian universe remains an enigma.

It’s the personal journey of the artist that you look for instead in this sort of book. Here is one truth I already knew, but which is worth repeating again and again and again: David Lynch is a creator who does not compromise, does not sell out, a filmmaker who does not make movies for critics “but answers to the higher authority of his imagination”. And there are many random things I took away from the book, the kind of things I’m looking forward to in an autobiography the most, the little details and contours and the personal stuff teasing that take you a little closer to the artist and the man, without intruding. You’ve been invited in and you take this chance, a brief splash of insight, because the door will not remain open for long.

His childhood shaped him. He’s got a sense of humour. He was a happy child and has a happy personality, but has always been drawn to dark things. In high school he already had a well defined style and he still dresses the same way as he did back then. Appearantly, every woman he has met finds him attractive. He discovered meditation in 1973 and it changed his life. His films don’t really make money, but he does what he believes in. He values his privacy and his favourite thing to do is to be home working. He loves Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment. He thinks Grace Kelly and James Stewart’s kiss in Rear Window is one of the best in the history of cinema (the other one is Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift’s in A Place in the Sun). For Laura Dern’s character in Twin Peaks: The Return, he created his own lipstick palette and mixed colours until he found the pink shade that he wanted. He loves Los Angeles light. He works with actors, not stars. Work always comes first. He gives himself room to dream.
Room to Dream David Lynch  

The book is different from traditional memoirs and the approach is extremely engaging. Each chapter is divided in two parts. The first part is written by co-author Kristine McKenna, consisting of biographical accounts of Lynch’s life, including interviews with people who know him well, from family and friends to colleagues and his loyal group of collaborators. The second part is David Lynch’s autobiographical first-person account. “What you’re reading here is basically a person having a conversation with his own biography,” writes McKenna in the introduction. It’s a conversation you want to take part in. I’m currently revisiting his films. I’m not looking to understanding them, but to look deeper into my own imagination. Mr. Lynch, thank you.

“Not carrying what other people think is a good thing.”

“Kids then had a lot of freedom to run around. We went everywhere and we weren’t inside in the day, ever. We were out doing stuff and it was fantastic. It’s horrible that kids today don’t get to grow up that way anymore. How did we let that happen? We didn’t have a tv until I was in the third grade, and I watched some tv as a child, but not very much. The only show I really watched was Perry Mason. Television did what the internet is doing more of now: it homogenized everything.”

“I learned about failure, and in a way
failure is a beautiful thing because when the dust settles
there’s nowhere to go but up, and it’s freedom.”

“If Mel Brooks walked down the street today, anybody under twenty five probably wouldn’t even know who he is, and that kills me.”
Room to Dream David Lynch

photos: 1-Classiq / 2-Donald Lynch | David Lynch and his younger brother, John, in Spokane, Washington, c.1953 (from the book) / 3-Dean Hurley

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One Day That Summer: Classic Americana

Kyle Petrozza photography - Arizona

Spaghetti, Arizona, 2018

The great outdoors. The wide open road. Freedom. Freedom to run around, to get moving, to imagine, to think, to day-dream, to dream big. We may not know where the story is going, but it’s the moment and the journey that are fascinating. And what is equally fascinating is when a photograph awakens all those feelings in you at once. The landscape photography of Kyle Petrozza does that. I have recently talked to Kyle about image-making, about the best road trip in America and about how living a simple life away from the city lights can foster creativity. But the beauty of a conversation is that you never truly know where it will take you, just like that open road in front of you when you set out for a trip; and Kyle’s honesty and unreserve about his life and work and artistic journey have reached much further than to my deeper appreciation of his photography, and they have made me better appreciate certain things in my life, question other things more acerbically and properly acknowledge some of my own struggles for the very first time – it’s probably why I chose not to follow on the question about that place called home.

“The lightness of not having to be creating
something important reminds me of the joy
I discovered when I first picked up a camera.”

What’s the story behind this photo?
​This past May, I was booked on a ten-day job in LA. I would normally fly from my home in Virginia to the West Coast and back. The day the job confirmed, I was in conversation with a good friend who asked a simple, but poignant question: when was the last time you traveled solely for the sake of traveling? The next morning, I decided to drive out to LA and back, instead of flying.

​On the way back East, a travel partner and I were headed to the Apache Trail in Arizona when we passed by a kitschy, for-profit adaptation of an old mining town-cum-amusement park. I would normally steer clear of places like this, but my partner being from the Netherlands wanted the “full American experience” as she put it. I’m a fan of the desert’s patina, texture, and hardness of light, but the gimcrack surroundings really bummed me out.

​I found myself focusing on the surrounding landscape of which this little roadside attraction was a part, instead of the attraction itself. This image was one that was carefully composed and edited to eliminate most elements that would not have been there when this mine was in operation. A practice in escapism, you could say and an illustration of the power we have as image-makers in deciding what we want to say by choosing what to show.

A few images from that day intentionally juxtaposed the landscape with elements of modernity, but I felt those elements controlled the narrative of the images more than I had hoped they would. Those new narratives were constrictive and I feared that they would lead the viewer someplace too intentional instead of allowing the viewer freedom of interpretation.

Do you always carry a camera with you?
​Technically speaking, yes. The phone that resides in my back pocket is indeed a camera. And I use it, often. As for cameras of the larger variety, I go through phases. Lugging around a modern DSLR, even with a Zeiss prime gets to be a bit unwieldy and intrusive. When the mood hits, I’ll carry around an old AE-1 for fun.

Is it make or take a photograph? Do you wait for a good photo? Are there times when you simply witness the moment without shooting any picture?
​I always strive to be making photographs. However, I realize that there are times, many of them, when simply taking photographs is more fun. The lightness of not having to be creating something important reminds me of the joy I discovered when I first picked up a camera back in 2005.

​If I’m covering an event or shooting on the street, yes, I will definetly wait for the moment when the scene matches what I think I see in my head or when all the elements fall into place. Forcing things, in any aspect of life, misses the point.

​I had to laugh at this question and will explain why. There are definitely times when simply witnessing a moment is more important, respectful, and magical than trying to photograph it. Apparently this is something I had to learn as I would routinely be reprimanded by an ex to “put the camera down and be more present”.

While some may see this as a discouragement toward my picture making, I was glad for it. There are moments in life when a camera simply won’t do a moment justice. Or, when an ever changing interpretation of a memory of a moment is more favorable, in the long run, than that of a photographic image.

You have lived in different parts of the world. How has that influenced you creatively?
​It has fostered a deeper sense of empathy within me. As a photographer of people and to a greater extent, a storyteller, I hope the importance of that needs no further explanation.

Do people make the place?
Very much so, yes. But, only after the place has helped make those people. The best I can do to explain this is point to the experiences of traveling through extremely impoverished places as well as very affluent places. Place and circumstance surely effect how one is raised, what one values, and where one chooses to place their attention and actions. While this isn’t a blanket statement applicable to all people, internationally speaking, I’ve found that the kindness and generosity of the impoverished have made their places that much more memorable to me than those of the more affluent communities I’ve visited.
One Day That Summer - Interview with Kyle Petrozza

New Mexico, NM-52


“The best road trip
is the one you are currently on.”

What made you leave New York City and move to a farm?
​The answer to that question would require pages and would bore your readers. Suffice it to say that I was desirous of a break from the photo industry since I wasn’t furthering my own creative goals; I grew tired of my social life in the city; I had become very interested in regenerative agriculture and wanted to see if life as a farmer was enjoyable, sustainable, and profitable; and lastly, the universe presented an opportunity that was hard to pass up.

In what ways has living in the country changed your life?
​Living in the country has given me the time and space to evaluate my life up to and at this point. To figure out what has worked and what hasn’t. To feel what I need more of (nature, community, simplicity) and what I haven’t missed (small apartments, the dating scene, concrete). It’s afforded me daily reminders that the country of which I’m a citizen is more sharply divided than it would appear in its major cities and has forced me to confront those realities. Most importantly, I think, is that it has allowed me to feel less pressure to create perfect, city-worthy work. The consistent work schedule and bright lights of New York no longer dim my own creative bulb.

Do you feel at home in Virginia?
I’m not sure I feel at home anywhere, to be honest. That said, I feel more “at home” in my current home here in Virginia than I’ve felt in most other places I’ve lived. But, the town and surrounding countryside where that home is located does not bring with it a feeling of being home.

You have criss-crossed America and travelled to and lived in different parts of the world. What is the best road trip one could take in America, and worldwide?
The best road trip is the one you’re currently on. That’s how I really want to answer. But, I’d be remiss if I passed up the opportunity to inspire someone who hasn’t yet traveled this vast land.

​In America, if you have the time, resources, and stamina, there’s simply no better way to experience the country than by making the great loop: East coast to the West coast via the northern or southern route and using the entire West coast as your U-turn. Keep off the interstates, out of chain hotels, and an ear to the ground for local knowledge. If you can do it in a convertible that was produced sometime during 1950 – 1975, all the better. ​If you can’t afford to do all that, I’d suggest a trip across the top of the nation (the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming) in spring or late summer and dropping down into your favorite mountain range.

​As for a trip in other parts of the world, abandon the car and get on a train or a boat.

What is your favourite moment of the day for shooting? Do you swear by the golden hour?
​I don’t think I have a favorite moment of the day to shoot. Of course, the sun at a low angle filtering through layers and layers of atmosphere and smog is gorgeous light, but maybe that’s not the best light for the story you’re trying to tell.

In this time and age, you wish people appreciated more:
Each other.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now (old or new location), preparing to make a photo, where would you want to be?
​My lack of an answer to this question is indicative of my current creative struggles.
Kyle Petrozza photography

Arizona, 2018


Website: | Instagram: @kylepetrozza

Classiq Journal - One Day That Summer interviews

More photographer interviews: One Day That Summer: The Dune, Hossegor / One Day That Summer: Torres Del Paine, Chile / One Day That Summer: Little Dreamer, Paris

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